Wildflowers by Suki Fleet

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

wildflowersWildflowers by Suki Fleet
Release Date: July 13, 2016
Pages: 80 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

Xavi doesn’t believe in love anymore. Love has never changed the outcome of anything. It has only hurt him. 

Sam is sick, and he wants one last thing. He wants Xavi to be with him, to stay with him until the end. Xavi drops everything and promises Sam he will be there. 

As they travel across the countryside in a stolen sea-green Cadillac, they search for something neither has the courage to admit he’s looking for. But as the days slip away, Xavi isn’t sure he can keep his promise; he isn’t sure about anything. He can’t help Sam do this. He can’t stand by and watch Sam suffer, can’t be content to let Sam give up. 

Saving Sam becomes the only thing that makes any sense, the only thing Xavi wants. Loving Sam becomes the most important promise he will ever make. Now he just has to convince Sam that life—and love—are worth fighting for.

five-stars

There are first times for everything and this will be a first for me. I truly short review because I lack the words or the willpower to not fangirl and lose sight of what’s important.

I love Suki’s work. There is this ethereal feeling I get when I read her words and what they do to me.

Wildflowers was perfection. It was angst and beauty. It was painfully with its sorrow. It was gorgeously filled with regret and it was amazing.

Wildflowers is a story about a boy who doesn’t want to be alone. It’s a story about overcoming your fears and letting down walls. It’s a story about letting the what if’s become a reality.

It’s a story that make me sob so much I joked with a friend that my Nook turned into an arc and floated away on a sea made of my tears.

I cried. Oh how I cried but those tears were of mixed emotions for Xavi and Sam… oh Sam. Just so much in this short story and I loved it.

It was amazing and worth it.

So much love for the boys. So much love for Judy. So much love for Joe and so much love for Suki.

This book is angsty AF but if you don’t feel when you read, why read at all.

Oh and I was listening to music as I read and this song, the lyrics… just work for this, for me.

Okay.

Rambling ginger… out.

About Suki Fleet

Suki Fleet grew up on a boat and as a small child spent a lot of time travelling at sea with her family. She has always wanted to be a writer. As a kid she told ghost stories to scare people, but stories about romance were the ones that inspired her to sit down and write. She doesn’t think she’ll ever stop writing them.

Her novel This is Not a Love Story won Best Gay Debut in the 2014 Rainbow Awards and is currently a finalist in the 2015 Lambda Awards.

You can contact Suki at sukifleet@gmail.com she’d love to hear from you.

Te Quiero by Suki Fleet

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Te QuieroTe Quiero by Suki Fleet
Series: Falling For You, Book One
Release Date: May 13, 2016
Pages: 55 • Format: eARC
Published By: Suki Fleet
Purchase Links:
Amazon USAmazon UK ARe • Smashwords

When Ally discovers dozens of naked photos of him have been posted online, he’s devastated and tries to contain the situation, hoping it doesn’t get worse. Only problem is his laptop has died, and Levi Francis—the guy Ally knows doesn’t like him—sees Ally acting suspiciously on the computers in the University’s Physics lab. Ally’s day can’t get much worse.

But after Levi accidentally drops a love letter written in Spanish, Ally returns it and finds his assumptions about Levi are turned upside down. Betrayed and hurt by his ex, Ally knows it’s the worst possible time to start trusting someone, but there’s something about shy, glittery Levi that gets under his skin.

five-stars

If you know my reviews you are familiar with my ability to ramble, I do it a lot but for this book, for this author and this particular story… I am speechless.

I associate Suki Fleet with the best type of deep angst in young/new adult gay romance, the angst of finding yourself and trusting another person with your vulnerability and your heart. The kind of angst that makes what you are reading hard to breathe because you feel all of it. Well, those things are in this story as well but not in the traditional Fleet fashion. This story is the sweetest thing I have read this year and I just want to dive into a pool filled with stuffed animals and swim among their fluff it’s so sweet.  There is no angst here, this is not the Fleet angst you are looking for…

The blurb sets up the story well; you have Ally on a school computer attempting to take down the personal and private pictures his asshat of an ex-boyfriend decided to post on porn sites but Ally gets interrupted when Levi walks into the lab.

Sigh.

Levi… I think he is an amazing character and from the first meeting with him I needed more of him. His quiet strength came off the page in abundance and what he does to “talk” to Ally had me hugging my Nook and sighing loud enough to wake the sleeping husband next to me.

Ally, what a strong young man you are not to only be in school and overcome what you have but to deal with the injustice placed on you by someone you trusted. You may have trusted he wrong person the first time but you’ve learned your lesson and Levi… he’s everything you need and more.

I love how the relationship was approached and how both boys were so very honest with one another. It was adorable to see their wants and how the fumbled through it with grace. The scene at Ally’s door and what Levi represents to him was so freaking romantic and swoony I couldn’t stand it.

Te Quiero is a short story in page length but not in depth of emotion or character development. It takes a talented author to make you feel the connection of two characters through emotions and give you the growth in character in so few pages but Fleet knocked it out of the park with this one.

I adored Ally and Levi and after that end, I cannot wait for the next installment to see how they navigate all that this new realtionship may bring.

 


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About Suki Fleet

Suki Fleet grew up on a boat and as a small child spent a lot of time travelling at sea with her family. She has always wanted to be a writer. As a kid she told ghost stories to scare people, but stories about romance were the ones that inspired her to sit down and write. She doesn’t think she’ll ever stop writing them.

Her novel This is Not a Love Story won Best Gay Debut in the 2014 Rainbow Awards and is currently a finalist in the 2015 Lambda Awards.

You can contact Suki at sukifleet@gmail.com she’d love to hear from you.

Sara’s Intimate Interview with Suki Fleet

Hi, there! 
I have always wanted to ask questions of authors whose books I adore beyond the      beyond but I am a true introvert and doing so, gives me a bit of anxiety. But, the   want out weighs the worry so I thought I would design my own interview nook of sorts with authors here at Oh My Shelves. This my introverted way of sitting down and      having a small chat with an author.  My questions are normally of a personal nature, on my part as books that touch me deeply are ones I hold close and I don't like to   ask too many questions either so I've named my "series" if you will, 
Sara's Intimate Interviews.
This series will focus on books, the authors or content which connects more than the words on the page. I hope you enjoy this inaugural post as much as I have and that we have many more to share together. 
-Sara

~Music and Books~

First, let me say how thrilled I am to have you visit Oh My Shelves. I am huge fan or your work and am over the moon that you are joining me for this, my first interview post.

Being a self-proclaimed music nerd, I love it when it shows up in books. Whether the song is new to me and I look it up to hear it for the first time or when a beloved song is mentioned in a book and I get overwhelmed with feelings, music in books are two great things that go beautifully together.

So having said that, let’s begin a small but intimate (also the best way to hear live music, *sigh*) interview with Suki Fleet about Music in books.  

In This is Not a Love Story you have a chapter titled, “There is a Light That Never Goes Out”, and being a fan of The Smiths… my emotions were set hearing the lyrics in my head. In Foxes, you include songs by The Cure and I know not everyone would catch on to the titles and get the same feelings I did but they fit the chapters that followed wonderfully.

OMS: I have noticed in your books the inclusion of music, though subtly, and I have to know if using songs as chapter titles is done with intent to set the emotions of the chapters?

Suki: Thank you so much for having me here, Sara^^

Partly, I use song titles as chapter titles so, as a writer, I can pay homage to my influences–and I do love it when these mean something to readers too, and we have a shared love for those artists. The song titles I include all mean something to me and are specifically related to the chapters they head.

I used ‘There is a light that never goes out’ in TINALS as I really felt that song when writing that story. Their love is the light that never goes out. And Remee sees light in Julian too, even though Julian feels broken, it pulls him through.

Another song was hugely influential when writing TINALS was a particular live version of Sufjan Steven’s ‘Chicago’ that makes me cry. There is a line ‘if I was crying in the van with my friend…’ that just does me in. I didn’t use that song title because in a story about London ‘Chicago’ didn’t make as much sense.

In Foxes I used ‘If Only Tonight We Could Sleep and ‘Pictures of You’ by the Cure as I imagined my MC Danny would connect with those songs too. Foxes also had ‘Hey Micky’ from the song by Toni Basil as the energy of that song perfectly describes how blown away by Micky Danny is the first time he sees him.

OMS: How does music play into writing for you and are they more of a secret code for you with a hope readers will connect with the songs?

Suki: Every story I’ve ever written will have been conceived with music in mind, even my novellas. ‘Lima Oscar Victor Echo and The Truth About Everything’ (a free story) was written with ‘Smalltown Boy’ by Jimmy Somerville in mind. ‘Just Like Heaven’ was titled from one of my favourite Cure songs and written feeling a connection to ‘Desire’ by Years and Years. Falling was written listening to ‘On a Beach’ by Richard Ashcroft.

I always hope the songs I mention will mean something to readers. So I guess it is like a secret code that I know not everyone will get, but I always hope that someone will get.

OMS: Other than writing, what does music mean in your everyday life? Is there a song that can instantly make you happy, sad or one song that takes you back to your best memory?

Suki: My music taste is veeerry eclectic. Possibly my favourite song in all the world is ‘Shadow of a Saint’ by Ian Brown. It’s a song that song makes me happy and takes me away from myself. It’s my jam.

My go to sad song would probably be ‘Monday’ by Ludovico Einaudi.

OMS: What is next for you in the book world?

Suki: I have just had a novella called Wildflowers accepted by Dreamspinner  Press for publications July/ August 2016. This novella is the first story I ever finished, just before I started writing TINALS. For a long time I wasn’t sure about officially publishing it as it probably is the angstiest story I’ve ever written (and I know that’s saying something), but it seemed a shame to leave it languishing on my hard drive.

And going for extremes I’m also trying to extend probably the sweetest story I’ve ever written, called Te Quiero. And I’m writing a novel length story called ‘Light Up the Dark’ about a creepy old house and an MC obsessed with fire.

Thank you for spending your time with me and chatting about music. I love that you have used songs that mean so much to me and that I was able to connect with your stories on a deeper level because of them.

Suki: Thank you for having me! I loved answering these questions^^

About Suki Fleet

Suki Fleet grew up on a boat and as a small child spent a lot of time travelling at sea with her family. She has always wanted to be a writer. As a kid she told ghost stories to scare people, but stories about romance were the ones that inspired her to sit down and write. She doesn’t think she’ll ever stop writing them.

Her novel This is Not a Love Story won Best Gay Debut in the 2014 Rainbow Awards and is currently a finalist in the 2015 Lambda Awards.

You can contact Suki at sukifleet@gmail.com she’d love to hear from you.

Foxes by Suki Fleet

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Foxes by Suki Fleet  26238271
Release Date: February 8, 2016
Pages: 274  • Published by: Dreamspinner Press Format: eARC
Purchase Links:  Dreamspinner •  Amazon • ARe

When Dashiel’s body is found dumped on an East London wasteland, his best friend Danny sets out to find the killer. But Danny finds interaction difficult and must keep his world small in order to survive. By day he lives in an abandoned swimming pool and fixes electrical devices to trade for supplies, but by night, alone, he hunts sharks—a reckless search for dangerous men who prey on the vulnerable.

A chance meeting with an American boy selling himself on the streets throws this lonely existence into disarray. Micky is troubled, fragile, and Danny feels a desperate need to protect him—from what, he doesn’t know. As Danny discovers more about Micky, he realizes that what Micky needs saving from is the one thing Danny can’t help him fight against.

To save Micky, Danny must risk expanding his world and face something that scares him more than any shark ever could: trusting he will be accepted for who he is. If a freezing winter on the streets, a sadistic doctor, and three thousand miles don’t tear them apart first, that is.

five-stars

 

Can’t lifetimes be measured in heartbeats? The faster a heart goes, the less time you have?

If the above is true, must be close to death then after reading this. I can’t stop my heart from beating so fast it hurts. It hurts. I hurt and yet the hurt is a complete comfort.

There is a theme with Suki’s books; the ever plentiful absence of parental figures, the absence of speech either voluntary or not and there is the over whelming theme of boys doing things for survival that most of us don’t think about. There is this void with her characters but it’s the fortitude of not giving up that makes the void fill and spill over with hope.

The big thing about Suki and her books is you get immersed in them. From the first word and a dip of your ill formed pinky toe, you think you are testing the waters of the world she creates, when in reality, you’ve already jumped in with both feet. You’ve jumped in and didn’t realize it until your chest becomes so tight because you haven’t come up for air. You’ve held your breath and let the gorgeous misty words fill your chest as you blissfully drown in the context of the story.

I want to tell you all about this story but I don’t know how to. It’s heartbreaking and hopeful. It’s angsty and amazing. This book, is everything and there are things I think I caught on to more because of myself or maybe because the author is like me?

Maybe she is like me because what I also loved is the sneaky way the author sneaks songs into the book. I guess, if you don’t know them you wouldn’t notice them but just like a song by The Smiths got tossed into TiNaLS, there are songs from The Cure in this that shredded my already stomped on heart. I mean, come on! If Only Tonight We Could Sleep and Pictures of You. Smith and Fleet as a duo of angst? One does not survive unscathed, I promise you.

If I had a single wish right now, it would be for someone to hold on to, or for someone to hold on to me. Not because they feel obliged to, or because they have to, but because they want to, because they want me.

Danny. What has happened to him? OMG. This kid, from the first page I wanted to hug and cuddle him until he gave in and hugged me back. I want to give Danny all the warmth, all the warm showers and flowers and food and a cool room to sleep deep under warm blankets. I want to give him a room full of things that need to be fixed, not because he needs them as trade but because it’s what he does. I want him to look at himself with as much want and love as he deserves and I want him to accept it. To accept that he is beautiful because of who he is and how he loves and protects those who matter… even when they ask why he doesn’t give up.

OMG! This book, it hurt me so damn good.

Micky, good lord this kid. I got him and his want to help people but inability to deal with it. I really get it because I am the same way. I get that it’s too much at times to just be yourself and deal with your own issues but taking on the issues of others, it’s crushing to the soul. But Micky is beautiful, sparkly and everything that a boy like Danny needs but what is going on with them? How will they make this new fragile thing called love work?

These boys. This story, it was amazing but it’s Suki Fleet so it’s what I expect. The layers of story and character are achingly peeled away until you are raw. You can’t help but feel what these characters go through as you read their story. This isn’t just story- it’s an entire universe of bright skies, of tumbling warm feelings and emotions so big, they can’t be contained to one continent. It’s so ridiculously gorgeous that I can’t tell you enough how much I loved reading it.

Fragile things, every single one of them. Lives are so terrifyingly easy to break. And yet, I love every single second. If I didn’t love it, it wouldn’t hurt so much.

Yeah… that.

 

About Suki Fleet

Suki Fleet grew up on a boat and as a small child spent a lot of time travelling at sea with her family. She has always wanted to be a writer. As a kid she told ghost stories to scare people, but stories about romance were the ones that inspired her to sit down and write. She doesn’t think she’ll ever stop writing them.

Her novel This is Not a Love Story won Best Gay Debut in the 2014 Rainbow Awards and is currently a finalist in the 2015 Lambda Awards.

You can contact Suki at sukifleet@gmail.com she’d love to hear from you.

This Is Not a Love Story by Suki Fleet

This Is Not a Love Story by Suki Fleeton May 22, 2014
Pages: 270
Amazon • (Website, Blog, Twitter, Goodreads)
When fifteen-year-old Romeo's mother leaves one day and doesn't return, he finds himself homeless and trying to survive on the streets. Mute and terrified, his silence makes him vulnerable, and one night he is beaten by a gang of other kids, only to be rescued by a boy who pledges to take care of him.

Julian is barely two years older than Romeo. A runaway from an abusive home, he has had to make some difficult choices and sells himself on the street to survive. Taking care of Romeo changes him, gives him a purpose in life, gives him hope, and he tries to be strong and keep his troubles with drugs behind him. But living as they do is slowly destroying him, and he begins to doubt he can be strong enough.

This is the story of their struggle to find a way off the streets and stay together at all costs. But when events threaten to tear them apart, it is Romeo who must find the strength within himself to help Julian (and not let their love story turn into a Shakespearean tragedy).
four-stars

This subject matter was hard and painful. I won’t focus as much on the plot, but instead I will highlight the issue of Homelessness. While this book featured two homeless youth, Romeo Danilov and Julian Lavelle, there are homeless families and war veterans out there too. Not every homeless person is an addict.

Romeo “Remee” was a deaf sixteen year old and his friend Julian was two years older. Romeo’s mother, a russian immigrant left to get groceries and never returned home. Julian was the victim repeated physical and sexual abuse before he ran away. Their plight to survive on the harsh streets of London made my stomach churn. The daily grind to find food, shelter from the weather and avoid being prey was enough to make my breath hitch. They are part of a growing population and this book was an eye opener.

According to US News & World Report, 46 million Americans live below the poverty line, that is 16% of the population. I will thank the Author Suki Fleet for not sugar coating the issue and not trying to “make it better”. Homelessness is a real issue and I encourage everyone to find ways to help, such as:
1) Volunteering at an established place like a shelter, food bank etc.
2) Show concern, kindness and respect as homeless people are humans too.
3) Donations are appreciated; blankets,clothes, shoes, food are always welcomed.
4) Advocate by encouraging others to join the fight against homelessness.

About Suki Fleet

Suki Fleet grew up on a boat and as a small child spent a lot of time travelling at sea with her family. She has always wanted to be a writer. As a kid she told ghost stories to scare people, but stories about romance were the ones that inspired her to sit down and write. She doesn’t think she’ll ever stop writing them.

Her novel This is Not a Love Story won Best Gay Debut in the 2014 Rainbow Awards and is currently a finalist in the 2015 Lambda Awards.

You can contact Suki at sukifleet@gmail.com she’d love to hear from you.